After a rocky start, our SPX journey got into gear yesterday, as The Beat, Jah Furry, Brian Heater and Josh Neufeld set off, after a brief detour to drop FMB off at the airport. Despite such setbacks as a strange bug biting The Beat, faulty GPS leading us on an eerie tour of Elizabeth, NJ (the toxic effects will have the most harm on our future children,) and an equally scenic tour of nighttime Baltimore on the way to Atomic Books, the merry caravan did arrive at aforesaid Atomic Books party last night.

The SPX happy vibe was in full effect as greetings and beverages were flying everywhere. The Nerdlinger Awards–presided over by Liz Baillie, MK Reed and Robin Enrico— unfolded in all their glory, with a few winners even on hand to accept their handsome trophies. (We do have a list of the winners, but will have to transcribe it later.) Everyone was super impressed by the venue — Atomic Books is the kind of eclectic treasure trove of a store that thrives in quirky neighborhoods, tended by caring owners, and we could have spent hours just poring over the magazines(!), toys, books, comics, and minis on sale. Well worth the trip.

Following some grub at the equally quirky Golden West Cafe, we were back on the road, arriving safely at the NORTH Bethesda Conference Center. Then, sadly, the ailing The Beat passed out, overcome by the day’s parade of bug bites and toxic fumes, while Brian and Furry cavorted into the wee hours, as various Twitter photos during the night show.

We’ll update with photos and more later. Things we’re looking forward to — more great comics, the Ignatzes (hosted by It Girl Liz Baillie) and Brian using his night vision goggles!


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